2002 South Africa
"It has been a great pleasure to host the 4th International Schools Geography Olympiad in South Africa. Kevin Winter (Chairperson)"
International Geographical Union 2002
Report by Chairperson of Local Organising Committee
It has been a great pleasure to host the 4th International Schools Geography Olympiad in South Africa. As the organizing committee, we intended the event to be fun, a good cultural exchange and as a way to expose participants to a progressive form of geography which is being practiced in some South African schools. The fact that we had the privilege of working with the best students from 12 different countries and excellent educators who accompanied these teams made the whole event thoroughly enjoyable. We would gladly organize another event! Most comments made in the evaluation of Olympiad suggest echoes these sentiments.
A number of issues arose during the course of organizing this event in the context of a developing country which may be of interest. Firstly, we were unable to find suitable accommodation in or around Durban that would be relatively cheap for students from other developing countries and sufficiently private to create something of an island situation. August is a particularly difficult month for southern hemisphere countries because schools, universities and technical institutions are still in progress. Such institutions may have been able to offer more suitable accommodation. Secondly, many developing countries, such as South Africa, do not have the means to support students to attend such events and sponsorship for geographical events is not forthcoming (worldwide). Every effort was made to keep the cost of the event to a minimum. However the cost of travel to and from the event remains a major obstacle. It is suggested that developing countries should seek a partnership with developed countries from the north to assist with the preparation and fund raising so that students from the south can have a fair chance of attending this event. Finally, many countries, such as South Africa, do not have a national competition to select students. Efforts to establish a formal competition should become a priority, both as a means of profiling geography and a means of improving the status of geography teaching in these countries.
I wish to thank the participants of the 4th International Olympiad, team leaders and the organizing committee. Collectively it was a job well done that could only enhance the teaching and learning of geography for the better of society and the environment.
Kevin Winter (Chairperson)
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